Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

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Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby Strive4Karuna » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:30 am

I realize that a lot of my suffering comes from my judgemental personality. Because of this, I constanly critique others (almost always negatively) and judge myself the same. This has led to a lot of suffering because I sometimes feel I have no love, kindness, compassion for anybody as well as myself. In order to work against this, I have tried to learn to be accepting. To accept what I see as "negative" qualities in others and "negative" qualities In myself. But by taking this approach, is this the right way?? Ultimately I need to work towards overcoming such qualities like arrogance, jealously, self-centredness etc., but as a first step, is it okay to accept these qualities? Accept and "love" these qualities? Because by me telling myself that such "negative" states are "bad", I realize I have spent my entire life telling myself that I am "bad" and others are "bad" and this has caused so much anxiety, insecurity, negative feelings and suffering.

I have thought, well, I will learn to accept myself, good and bad, and after I do so, I will work towards removing the negative qualities. But when I look at it this way, Im still essentially telling myself these qualities are "bad" because how can you accept something you want to get rid of? Sorry to make this go on for so long, but i just realized what my question really is. How do you learn to accept a "negative" quality while still keeping yourself open towards overcoming it? And Sorry for saying myself like a thousand times, cant think of a different word. :tongue:
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:36 pm

Hi S2K
These negative qualities are ephemeral, and transient.
Practice sila, and develop samadhi and panna.
Various forms of vipassana meditation will be good training to see the rise and fall of the phenomenology of thse negative qualities in stark relief. Samatha meditation will help you to develop the sensitivity of mind to observe the more subtle aspects of these mental qualities.
I have also found it beneficial to practice metta bhavana as a means of cultivating good will towards oneself and others.
Wishing you all the best,

Ben
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby bodom » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:12 pm

The Buddha never taught acceptance with regard to unwholesome mind states. He taught right effort which is cultivating wholesome mind states to combat the negative. Develop generosity to overcome greed. Develop loving friendliness to overcome hatred. Develop wisdom to overcome delusion.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:18 am

Greetings,

bodom wrote:The Buddha never taught acceptance with regard to unwholesome mind states. He taught right effort which is cultivating wholesome mind states to combat the negative. Develop generosity to overcome greed. Develop loving friendliness to overcome hatred. Develop wisdom to overcome delusion.

:goodpost:

Samyutta Nikaya II, 70 wrote:The noble ones praise the slaying of anger
-- with its honeyed crest & poison root --
for having killed it you do not grieve.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby SarathW » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:55 am

This is how I try to get rid of my negative thoughts.

I remind myself that there is no permanent thing call I. Everything around us are aggregates so they all subject to impermanence. It is natural for the five aggregates to have negative thoughts due to ignorance.
So next time when you have negative though just be aware that it is a negative thoughts. Say “it is not me, it is not mine, it is not myself but they are just negative thoughts”
Then notice how your thoughts are moving from one object to another object. Then realise there is no a person but just the moving consciousness.

This knowledge will help you to develop Brhmaviharas

Metta
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:00 am

Strive4Karuna wrote:Ultimately I need to work towards overcoming such qualities like arrogance, jealously, self-centredness etc., but as a first step, is it okay to accept these qualities?
In as much as it is expected that you should show lovingkindness and compassion towards others, it is a good thing to extend lovingkindness and compassion towards yourself, which means a certain degree of self acceptance. And as you work to deal with the negative stuff, don't be harsh with yourself for your failings. It can be a slow, uncomfortable work, but be kind to yourself.

You may find this book of help: A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby waterchan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:03 pm

Strive4Karuna wrote:How do you learn to accept a "negative" quality while still keeping yourself open towards overcoming it?


The Buddha did not say that "negative" qualities should be either accepted or rejected, merely studied and contemplated.

Your suffering is largely perpetuated by the persistent illusion is the idea that these qualities are "my negative qualities". You experience these negative feelings, but they are not yours.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:06 pm

Greetings Waterchan,

waterchan wrote:The Buddha did not say that "negative" qualities should be either accepted or rejected, merely studied and contemplated.

How do you account for this, then...?

SN 45.8 wrote:"And what, monks, is right effort?

[i] "There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

[iii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[iv] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen."

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby waterchan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:18 pm

Hello retro,

I'm not sure where the conflict lies?
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby makarasilapin » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:35 pm

waterchan wrote:Hello retro,

I'm not sure where the conflict lies?


you don't just study and contemplate them - after you have determined that they are "negative" qualities of mind you fabricate skillful qualities in their stead, some of which are categorical like virtue.
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby waterchan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:44 pm

I meant that I don't see where the conflict lies between the tanha in the OP's powerful desire to be rid of his negative emotions and the chanda generated through samma vayama.

One is motivated by disgust while the other is discerned.
Last edited by waterchan on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:45 pm

Greetings,

makarasilapin wrote:you don't just study and contemplate them - after you have determined that they are "negative" qualities of mind you fabricate skillful qualities in their stead

Right. It's not "merely stud[y] and contemplat[ion]"

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby waterchan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:00 pm

You're both correct. "Merely" was a bad word to use there.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby Strive4Karuna » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:20 am

bodom wrote:The Buddha never taught acceptance with regard to unwholesome mind states. He taught right effort which is cultivating wholesome mind states to combat the negative. Develop generosity to overcome greed. Develop loving friendliness to overcome hatred. Develop wisdom to overcome delusion.

:anjali:


But the Buddha also taught metta & karuna. Isnt acceptance a way of extending love? As long as I look at my self and others in disdain because of our shortcomings and unwholesome states, It will be difficult to show love and compassion towards everybody, myself included.
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby daverupa » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:53 pm

Strive4Karuna wrote:It will be difficult to show love and compassion towards everybody, myself included.


One protects oneself, in this sense, via satipatthana & not the brahmaviharas.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby FatDaddy » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:52 pm

daverupa wrote:
Strive4Karuna wrote:It will be difficult to show love and compassion towards everybody, myself included.


One protects oneself, in this sense, via satipatthana & not the brahmaviharas.


I thought of Satipatthana as well.

3. The Contemplation of Consciousness
"And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating consciousness in consciousness?

"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate; the consciousness without hate, as without hate; the consciousness with ignorance, as with ignorance; the consciousness without ignorance, as without ignorance; the shrunken state of consciousness, as the shrunken state; the distracted state of consciousness, as the distracted state; the state of consciousness become great, as the state become great; the state of consciousness not become great, as the state not become great; the state of consciousness with some other mental state superior to it, as the state with something mentally higher; the state of consciousness with no other mental state superior to it, as the state with nothing mentally higher; the quieted state of consciousness, as the quieted state; the state of consciousness not quieted, as the state not quieted; the freed state of consciousness as freed; and the unfreed state of consciousness, as unfreed.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:44 pm

FatDaddy wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Strive4Karuna wrote:It will be difficult to show love and compassion towards everybody, myself included.


One protects oneself, in this sense, via satipatthana & not the brahmaviharas.


I thought of Satipatthana as well.

3. The Contemplation of Consciousness
"And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating consciousness in consciousness?

"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate; the consciousness without hate, as without hate; the consciousness with ignorance, as with ignorance; the consciousness without ignorance, as without ignorance; the shrunken state of consciousness, as the shrunken state; the distracted state of consciousness, as the distracted state; the state of consciousness become great, as the state become great; the state of consciousness not become great, as the state not become great; the state of consciousness with some other mental state superior to it, as the state with something mentally higher; the state of consciousness with no other mental state superior to it, as the state with nothing mentally higher; the quieted state of consciousness, as the quieted state; the state of consciousness not quieted, as the state not quieted; the freed state of consciousness as freed; and the unfreed state of consciousness, as unfreed.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html


    "'I shall protect myself,' in that way the foundations of mindfulness should be practiced. 'I shall protect others,' in that way the foundations of mindfulness should be practiced. Protecting oneself one protects others; protecting others one protects oneself. And how does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? By the repeated and frequent practice of meditation. And how does one, in protecting others, protect oneself? By patience and forbearance, by a non-violent and harmless life, by compassion and loving kindness." -- S 52,8

bodom wrote:The Buddha never taught acceptance with regard to unwholesome mind states. He taught right effort which is cultivating wholesome mind states to combat the negative. Develop generosity to overcome greed. Develop loving friendliness to overcome hatred. Develop wisdom to overcome delusion.
The danger is, of course, of getting into very strong -- and very subtle -- states of aversion because of, and in regards to, one's negative mind states, wanting them gone, feeling badly about oneself because they are there, thinking that this is the way of the Dhamma.

"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate . . . ." So, the question is can this be done without getting into a struggle with these mind states, without generating aversion?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:08 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate . . . ." So, the question is can this be done without getting into a struggle with these mind states, without generating aversion?


I would like to think so, the idea of gaining wisdom in this teaching or seeing things as they really are (from my understanding) naturally results in disenchantment, dispassion and relinquishment. But I also think sometimes it can be useful to generate a little aversion to unwholesome states and qualities before one has really seen enough drawbacks to induce dispassion because otherwise one would be more likely to commit unskillful actions. Shame is something to use in buddhism and it certainly carries connotations of aversion within it. But aversion needs to be curbed with the realization that one needs to understand unwholesome states and qualities if they really want to be able to let them go for good.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate . . . ." So, the question is can this be done without getting into a struggle with these mind states, without generating aversion?


I think in practice it's a juggling act. On the one hand an acceptance and understanding of ones unwholesome mind-states, on the other hand not indulging or perpetuating those states, recognising that they are transitory and that one is not defined by them.
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Re: Acceptance of "Negative" Qualities

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:00 pm

porpoise wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate . . . ." So, the question is can this be done without getting into a struggle with these mind states, without generating aversion?


I think in practice it's a juggling act. On the one hand an acceptance and understanding of ones unwholesome mind-states, on the other hand not indulging or perpetuating those states, recognising that they are transitory and that one is not defined by them.
I agree with this, and -- like everything with the Dhamma -- it takes work.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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